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Pentland Ferries is first UK ferry operator to achieve Green Tourism Award

By Alan Hendry

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MV Alfred has impressive environmental credentials.
MV Alfred has impressive environmental credentials.

Pentland Ferries, which operates from St Margaret’s Hope in Orkney to Gills Bay in Caithness, has become the first ferry operator in the UK to achieve a Green Tourism Award.

The awards programme recognises the commitment of tourism businesses to sustainability and is seen as a prestigious hallmark of environmentally sensitive practices and operation.

The award for the family-run company follows the introduction in November 2019 of a purpose-built £14 million vessel, MV Alfred, which brought greater environmental credentials to the service.

MV Alfred’s efficient design, LED lighting, and fuel efficiency all contributed to the bronze-level award, as did the use of local food suppliers, wind power and waste reducing and recycling initiatives that the company encourages passengers to embrace on board ship.

The Green Tourism report said it was “just the beginning of the journey" for Orkney-based Pentland Ferries, adding that the company had the potential to achieve a silver award.

The managing director of Pentland Ferries, Andrew Banks, said: “Our environmental credentials are very important to us, so we are very proud to be the first ferry operator in the UK to achieve a Green Tourism Award.

“The MV Alfred is more than 60 per cent more efficient in terms of fuel consumption and emission levels than other comparable ferries operating in Scotland. These efficiencies sit at the centre of a much wider energy-efficient drive by Pentland Ferries, which includes reducing waste, using low-energy lighting, recycling, and using wind power to power the vessel overnight.

"As the aard assessment recognises, this is just the start of Pentland Ferries' journey – we will continue to develop greater environmental awareness and efficiencies within our operation.”

In January, MV Alfred was nominated in the ferries category of the new International Cruise and Ferry Review Ship of the Year awards.

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